29th June 2006
Playback will release the influential 1974 ABC series
Kolchak: The Night Stalker on August the 21st.
The series, which starred Darren McGavin as
a dog-eared maverick newspaper reporter who specialises in investigating
paranormal activity, was a key inspiration for Chris Carter when he
created The X-Files.
The five-disc set will feature twenty
episodes (although not the two TV movies
that spawned the series, The Night Stalker and The Night
Strangler). This means that the UK edition has a significant advantage
over the US edition, which is offered on Universal's
notoriously-troublesome DVD-18 discs.
There are some issues with the UK discs,
though: there are some very noticeable instances of PAL artefacts,
especially on Kolchak's crumpled pinstripe jacket (an example of this, and
menu screens from the new release, can be seen
here). The RRP is
28th June 2006
Bay is releasing a very nice two-disc (two x DVD-5) Special Edition
version of Richard Attenborough's 1978 BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated
Magic on August the 21st.
Disc one contains the feature, which is
presented in 1.78:1 format, with a choice of Dolby Stereo 2.0 (192kbps),
Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps) and DTS 5.1 (768kbps) audio tracks.
Disc Two contains eighty minutes of bonus
features: Screenwriting For Dummies featurette (15m); Fats &
Friends featurette (27m); interview with cinematographer Victor J.
Kemper (12m); 1978 interview with Anthony Hopkins (3m); 1978 Anthony
Hopkins radio interview (1m); English and Spanish radio spots (1m);
English and Spanish TV spots (8m); English trailers (2m); stills gallery
(4m); and a makeup test for Ann-Margret (3m).
The RRP is £14.99. Menu screens for this
release can be seen here.
Films and Fremantle Home Entertainment will release a double-bill of films
directed by Ben Hopkins,
Simon Magus and The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz, on July the
Simon Magus, which is set in rural
Europe in the 19th century, is about a young man who's exiled from his
village because he believes that he's possessed by the Devil.
It stars Charlie and The Chocolate
Factory's Noah Taylor, supported by an eclectic cast, including Stuart
Townsend, Army of Darkness' Embeth Davidtz, Amanda Ryan, Rutgar
Hauer, Ian Holm and the late Cyril Shaps.
The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz is a
bizarre modern-day fantasy film about a chaos-inducing shape-shifter,
featuring Thomas Fisher and Rome's Ian McNeice.
Simon Magus is presented in
anamorphic 2.35:1 format. The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz is presented
in 4:3 format, Both have Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks (at 192kbps).
The disc also features Hopkins' debut
short, National Achievement Day (27m, 1995) and commentaries on
both features (by Hopkins alone on Simon Magus, and with star
Thomas Fisher on The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz). The RRP is £15.99.
Universal have confirmed that season two of
The Rockford Files will be released on August the 21st.
The six-disc set features twenty-two
episodes, and has an RRP of £34.99.
Universal Playback will release the first
season of the Craig T. Nelson comedy series
Coach on August the 7th. The two-disc set features thirteen
episodes, a featurette, and a preview episode from the second series. The
RRP is a hefty £27.99 (most of the etailers seem to think it has an RRP of
26th June 2006
ZETA MINOR NEWS
page has been updated with dozens of newly-listed titles, and many more
additional pieces of information and etailer links. Please take a few
minutes to have a browse, and please remember that ordering using our
links gets you a great deal, and helps support this site!
I've added a few screen-grabs from the
BBC's excellent new Adam Adamant Lives! set to the site, so that
you can compare them to the previous DVD release, from Revelation Films
(who were using the BBC Video transfers from 1991). Like the
early Doctor Who recordings, the Adam Adamant Lives!
episodes are of wildly varying technical quality. From the episodes I've
sampled, A Vintage Year For Scoundrels and Death Has A Thousand
Faces pretty much represent the two ends of the spectrum, from the
jaw-droppingly good, to the dark and dingy. You can see the comparison
Last week's Zeta Minor News
can be viewed here.
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed